"The Effect Of Inflation On Santa" joke

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
how the tinsel was scattered! and twigs by the thous-
and. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care-
They were skewered with ten-penny nails, to be fair.
The children, God bless them, were snug in their beds,
With clothesline to anchor the ankles and heads.
The Wife in her housecoat, and I clad alike,
Had gone to cellar to get the new bike,
When from a dark corner arose such a clatter
I felt a strong urge to forget the whole matter.
The wife said go over and open the door;
I grabbed a stout cudgel and crept' cross the floor
And gingerly peered through the glass to behold
A wee red-suited man, turning blue with cold.
Suppressing my dire thoughts of a communist trick,
I flung wide the portal, admitting..... St. Nick!
Poor Santa came in stamping snow from his feet
And cursing cold weather and all central heat.
"Your chimney's too small for a man of my girth---
Which shows what the power of tradition is worth.
I asked him to stay, as the perfect host ought,
And my gimlet eyes gleamed at the parcels he brought.
Upstairs in the kitchen, hot toddy in hand,
Old Santa had both of us folks understand
That the new station wagon he'd purchased this year
To replace his eight quaint reindeer
was the poorest investment he ever had chosen--
It stalled by our house the engine plumb frozen.
My wife asked him then if the high cost of living,
Had interfered much with the job of gift-giving.
"I'll say so, quoth he. "Why, a plain roller skate is
costing me
$40. 98;
And the cheapest new belt, since inflation intruded,
Costs $11. 27, all taxes included;
My labor is raising all manor of hob--
In fact, this here Christmas is too big a job.
He talked a while longer, but then had to go
When a wrecker from town came to give him a tow.
He left a tin whistle for Joey, our son,
And a watch for Matilda--I bet it won't run;
For the Wife, a new apron that makes her flesh crawl,
And a tie for yours truly completed our haul.
But I heard him exclaim, as he rolled out of sight,
"The blazes with Christmas--Tarnation is right!

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